In my childhood home my Mom must have baked fresh popovers every Winter weekend. I fondly remember tearing into the warm, puffy crust and feeling enthralled as I watched the steam rush skyward before I took my first bite. Each of my two brothers must have eaten their weight in popovers during the 1980's... This is why whenever I see/smell/taste/even think of popovers I feel intense happy family nostalgia.
My friend Claire (of Claire's Limey Salad fame) recently prepared popovers at a dinner she hosted and I was instantly taken back to those childhood weekend breakfasts. With this in mind I decided to prepare a Desperate Housediva version of this family favorite. I added some magical White Whole Wheat flour in order to make it a bit healthier and included the melted butter in the batter itself to add a flaky/pastry component to the dish. They did not disappoint: not only do they live up to my popover nostalgia but they also feel healthier (and no less delicious) with the addition of the white whole wheat flour.
If you have never had the pleasure of enjoying a fresh popover (which was Prof. Hubs' situation before this morning) the only way I can describe them is to say they are something like a Yorkshire Pudding...if that doesn't help you, just taste them. Prof. Hubs said that they are like the best parts of bread combined with the bests part of eggs. This is a somewhat literal description for those who really have no previous popover/yorkshire pudding experience.
No matter what, you should make them...like NOW.
(adapted from the Moosewood cookbook)
2 to 4 Tbsp melted butter
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
(NOTE: In the original recipe one can use up to 4 eggs depending on your egginess preferences. If using more than 2 eggs, add a 1/4 each of milk and all purpose flour.)
Preheat oven to 375. Grease muffin tin/popover tin.
In a large bowl combine all ingredients well. A few lumps are okay.
(NOTE: some people use the melted butter to grease the tin. Others add the melted butter to the batter. I do the latter and it creates a wonderfully flaky popover, but if you're looking for a silkier, less flaky popover omit the butter from the batter.)
Pour batter into muffin tins filling them 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake for 25 minutes (Add 5 minutes
per egg if you added more than 2 to your batter.) DO NOT open oven while popovers are baking!!!!!
After the alotted cooking time has passed remove popovers immediately and prick the puffy part with a knife to allow steam to escape and to help them hold their unique shape.
Serve immediately. I like mine plain or with this...